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    Concerns about some aspects of Islam

    I'm probably going to get some hate for this but these things have been eating away at me for quite some time and no matter how hard I try I cannot seem to justify them.


    Slavery

    Slavery was rampant well before Islam came about and there were no rights for slaves or rules in place governing how slaves were treated. With the introduction of Islam this was changed and rights were given to slaves and slavery was brought under control.

    However my concern is Allah is all merciful and compassionate so why not just command for slavery to be abolished all together? We are humans and today we acknowledge slavery is one of the greatest tragedies of mankind but for an all merciful loving God, this would have been common sense. What planet do we live on where one human life can be owned by someone else? It would have been much more merciful to simply command for the release of all slaves and the abolition of slavery.

    Then there is rape of those slaves. Something I have denied for the longest time but it is blatantly obvious that sex with your slave is permitted. For those of you who've actually read the Quran and hadiths you will know it refers to slaves as "those that your right hand possess" meaning those that you own.

    Allah has permitted intimacy with a slave woman if the man owns her. This is not regarded as adultery. Allah says, describing the believers (interpretation of the meaning): “those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts) Except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame” [al-Mu’minoon 23:5]

    Those who do not believe

    The Quran makes it very clear that those who do not believe in Allah and his messenger Muhammad s.a.w will not be permitted to enter heaven and will spend eternity in hell*

    I think every human on the planet would agree that we cannot choose what we believe, it's impossible! Belief in something is a naturally occurring process that cannot be forced. If I ask you to genuinely believe a square is a circle or there is life on the Moon, you cannot. Therefore it seems incredibly strange and harsh for Allah to condemn a person to an eternity of hell simply because they were unable to believe in him. Aliens is a great example, aside from life on Earth there is literally 0 evidence that life exists elsewhere in the universe but I absolutely believe there is life on other planets, I don't choose to believe this, it's just something I believe. I cannot explain it.

    It would be a bit different if someone did genuinely believe but just decided not to follow his command. Then there is the issue of qadar... Allah has already written our path long before we were even born and it is literally set in stone. There are some disagreements about this but the underlining principle still stands, Allah swt already knows every outcome to every action before the action has even started, therefore it would seem ludicrous to create a person knowing full well they will end up in hell, they never even had a chance.

    *Those who die before puberty and those who do not have the mental capacity to learn Islam or those who have been unable to access Islam are automatically granted heaven. (some scholars differ on this).

    Islam before Islam

    As the creator of all things, why not give mankind Islam at the earliest possible time? Humans have been around for a hell of a long time and so why not give all those people Islam so they too can live the way Allah knew was the perfect way for humans to live? In fact the word "Allah" is not found anywhere in the ancient texts meaning there wasn't even an attempt to guide these people.

    Why start guiding humanity so late into their existence?

    I also have to question how Islam was delivered. Delivery by one prophet is probably the single worst way a message for all of humanity could possibly be delivered. Humans are notoriously unreliable and always have hidden agendas or forgetful memories so why put the entire fate of mankind's eternal future in the hands of one prophet in 1 corner of the world? It seems implausible that this delivery method would work.

    I am not a God but I can think of a dozen much more effective ways to guarantee that as many humans as possible enter my paradise.

    Dua

    Dua is a very important part of Islam and it is not the same as prayer. When we make Dua we are directly asking Allah for his help, whether it be for the ending of suffering, to pass an exam, to have a safe journey or to grant us patience. It can be for anything really.

    The problem is our paths are already outlined and written for us, to make Dua asking Allah to change his mind seems not only impossible but a complete waste of time. Allah is infallible so to suggest that we can make him change his mind by asking him seems silly.

    Whether I pass that exam or the war in Syria ends tomorrow was written and planned by the best of planners, an infallible omniscient God so no matter how much Dua we make, God isn't going to change his mind, because that would mean that he was wrong in his plan for you, or the world for that matter.

    If I revise and study the best I can and fail then that is because that is what God planned for me, no amount of Dua would have changed that because again that would mean his plan was subject to change and God does not change his mind. He is infallible!




    Yes I am still Muslim, yes I still believe in Allah and Islam. This is me simply raising some concerns that I have buried and ignored for a long time and I just wanted to vent them out on the internet because I don't have anywhere else to do so. I understand that some Muslims might read this and think negatively of me but we should be able to debate sensitive topics and question things which we don't fully comprehend in the hopes of gaining a better understanding.



    Disclaimer: These are my opinions and concerns and I obviously do not speak for any other Muslim or claim that my understanding of Islam is correct.
    I beg my parents for money

    #2
    Re: Concerns about some aspects of Islam

    I have seen you on student room before and hence it is no surprise to see you post these stuff. I am not thrashing you but your questions are not a surprise judging by your posting habits there.

    Anyhow you raised a few things that are on merit and some that are completely irrelevant.

    Issues like slavery have been discussed an infinitum to death. There are a lot of videos and tafsirs upon it. Since you are an A level student I expect you to go and do your research on that one.

    The other stuff like islam before islam is frankly a vast of time and shows how low you are thinking. Who cares about islam before islam? And who said Allah didn't guide before islam? Do even know how many prophets were sent? Thousands were sent. We know the popular ones in the quran but many have been sent? Does that sound like a God who didn't care? Seriously this is basic Islamic knowledge

    As for belief. everyone who does not believe in islam and is able bodied meaning he/she not insane and heard the message is destined for Jahannam. That is the word of Allah. You best get used to it. Those who never heard of Allah will be judged differently. Allah is not cruel. But those who heard about it? Yes. Deal with it.
    when Allah says obey Allah and obey his messenger that means that. There is no space for bububu this is what I believe in and life on other planets and aliens. Seriously. You have a problem with your aqeedah. Get it fixed.

    As for dua. Again, you are clueless. Dua is a powerful form of worship. Dua can change your destiny and qadr. How bout that? Imagine you are destined to die in a cave like those famous three men stuck in it and because of dua they were saved. So how pathetic do you sound when you say dua is a waste of time..

    Seriously, I fear for your aqeedah if you have issues with even accepting the word of Allah. You are literally nothing. A speck. In a planet which is a speck in the solar system. Allah says, the creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than that of you and me. And you have the audacity to question his commands.

    I don't know if this is a teenage phase you are going through, rebellion or something far more serious. But you have issues and no matter how nicely you conceal it the ugliness is there.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Concerns about some aspects of Islam

      Originally posted by Dinobot View Post
      I have seen you on student room before and hence it is no surprise to see you post these stuff. I am not thrashing you but your questions are not a surprise judging by your posting habits there.

      Anyhow you raised a few things that are on merit and some that are completely irrelevant.
      What exactly did she post there?

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Concerns about some aspects of Islam

        Originally posted by Dinobot View Post
        I have seen you on student room before and hence it is no surprise to see you post these stuff. I am not thrashing you but your questions are not a surprise judging by your posting habits there.

        Anyhow you raised a few things that are on merit and some that are completely irrelevant.

        Issues like slavery have been discussed an infinitum to death. There are a lot of videos and tafsirs upon it. Since you are an A level student I expect you to go and do your research on that one.

        The other stuff like islam before islam is frankly a vast of time and shows how low you are thinking. Who cares about islam before islam? And who said Allah didn't guide before islam? Do even know how many prophets were sent? Thousands were sent. We know the popular ones in the quran but many have been sent? Does that sound like a God who didn't care? Seriously this is basic Islamic knowledge

        As for belief. everyone who does not believe in islam and is able bodied meaning he/she not insane and heard the message is destined for Jahannam. That is the word of Allah. You best get used to it. Those who never heard of Allah will be judged differently. Allah is not cruel. But those who heard about it? Yes. Deal with it.
        when Allah says obey Allah and obey his messenger that means that. There is no space for bububu this is what I believe in and life on other planets and aliens. Seriously. You have a problem with your aqeedah. Get it fixed.

        As for dua. Again, you are clueless. Dua is a powerful form of worship. Dua can change your destiny and qadr. How bout that? Imagine you are destined to die in a cave like those famous three men stuck in it and because of dua they were saved. So how pathetic do you sound when you say dua is a waste of time..

        Seriously, I fear for your aqeedah if you have issues with even accepting the word of Allah. You are literally nothing. A speck. In a planet which is a speck in the solar system. Allah says, the creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than that of you and me. And you have the audacity to question his commands.

        I don't know if this is a teenage phase you are going through, rebellion or something far more serious. But you have issues and no matter how nicely you conceal it the ugliness is there.


        I posted here for understanding, not a thrashing... And what I post on some other forum is non of your concern. I had these doubts long before I posted to any forum, it's just now I want to finally understand these doubts and concerns I have.

        I am not perfect and I never claimed to be but at this moment in time I am struggling to comprehend and accept this problems I outlined, they may not be problems to you but to me they are and I would appreciate you not judging me so much and offer some logical counter arguments and to reassure me somehow.

        I still believe in Allah, his messenger s.a.w and Islam. I just have some doubts about certain aspects, doesn't every Muslim at some point experience lack of iman?
        I beg my parents for money

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Concerns about some aspects of Islam

          Originally posted by AishaGirl View Post
          I posted here for understanding, not a thrashing... And what I post on some other forum is non of your concern. I had these doubts long before I posted to any forum, it's just now I want to finally understand these doubts and concerns I have.

          I am not perfect and I never claimed to be but at this moment in time I am struggling to comprehend and accept this problems I outlined, they may not be problems to you but to me they are and I would appreciate you not judging me so much and offer some logical counter arguments and to reassure me somehow.

          I still believe in Allah, his messenger s.a.w and Islam. I just have some doubts about certain aspects, doesn't every Muslim at some point experience lack of iman?
          Your doubts and your posting habits are not mutually exclusive to each other. But that's another topic.

          You want logical answers to articles of faith. What logical answer one can give when Allah told Ibrahim to sacrifice Ishmael? I mean what would you have done if you were in Ibrahim's position? Iman is a living thing within people. Sometimes it goes up and down.

          But in your case you have an issue with accepting Allah's commandments. That's not an iman problem. that's an aqeedah problem. that's much worse. Because it's the path one takes before one becomes a fasiq and then inevitably to leaving religion all together.

          Let me explain to you this way. When the person's iman goes down, they might find it difficult to pray on time or even pray regularly. They might not read their quran. That is common within people. But the core remains.

          You on the other hand are having issues accepting commands. Issues with accepting core articles like why should people enter jahannam for a lack of belief. That's not an iman problem. That's an aqeedah problem. You have bigger problems. You do not believe in Allah and his messenger no matter how much you claim. To believe in them you need to obey them without questions. Without hesitations. Without worrying about why this Is like this or like that. Can you do that? Can you be Ibrahim as? Can you follow the ayah of the quran which says ''O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger''

          If you can't then no amount of explanations is going to help

          Comment


            #6
            Concerns about some aspects of Islam

            Why are you subjecting Allah and Islam to a western morality system? This is your fatal flaw. Allah is the source of right and wrong, you do not judge what He does based on a morality system of man.

            You have not submitted to Allah truly. That or you do not truly believe in the Quran and the Rasul(:saw:)

            If you believe the Quran to be revelation from Allah then that is it. You submit to Allah and accept that He knows better than you and that He does as He pleases.
            Last edited by Stoic Believer; 24-04-17, 05:02 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Concerns about some aspects of Islam

              Originally posted by Stoic Believer View Post
              Why are you subjecting Allah and Islam to a western morality system? This is your fatal flaw. Allah is the source of right and wrong, you do not judge what He does based on a morality system of man.

              You have not submitted to Allah truly. That or you do not truly believe in the Quran and the Rasul(:saw:)

              If you believe the Quran to be revelation from Allah then that is it. You submit to Allah and accept that He knows better than you and that He does as He pleases.

              I'm not choosing to believe this... I just can't help what I believe.


              Originally posted by Dinobot View Post
              But in your case you have an issue with accepting Allah's commandments. That's not an iman problem. that's an aqeedah problem. that's much worse. Because it's the path one takes before one becomes a fasiq and then inevitably to leaving religion all together.
              So how do I fix it? What can I do?
              I beg my parents for money

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Concerns about some aspects of Islam

                Originally posted by AishaGirl View Post
                I'm probably going to get some hate for this but these things have been eating away at me for quite some time and no matter how hard I try I cannot seem to justify them.


                Slavery (Part 1)

                Slavery was rampant well before Islam came about and there were no rights for slaves or rules in place governing how slaves were treated. With the introduction of Islam this was changed and rights were given to slaves and slavery was brought under control.

                However my concern is Allah is all merciful and compassionate so why not just command for slavery to be abolished all together? We are humans and today we acknowledge slavery is one of the greatest tragedies of mankind but for an all merciful loving God, this would have been common sense. What planet do we live on where one human life can be owned by someone else? It would have been much more merciful to simply command for the release of all slaves and the abolition of slavery.

                Then there is rape of those slaves. Something I have denied for the longest time but it is blatantly obvious that sex with your slave is permitted. For those of you who've actually read the Quran and hadiths you will know it refers to slaves as "those that your right hand possess" meaning those that you own.

                Allah has permitted intimacy with a slave woman if the man owns her. This is not regarded as adultery. Allah says, describing the believers (interpretation of the meaning): “those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts) Except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame” [al-Mu’minoon 23:5]
                Well I don't know what you post in TSR but I was there for a few months and the amount of apostasy threads there.......well they've their marks and it might affect my answer.

                And most importantly, Islam is not a liberal religion. This is a fact. If you're influenced by western values and morals, you're kind of bound to have a problem with Islam and move towards disbelief. I'm sorry to say this but that's the truth.

                So I'm going to try and answer your question one-by-one.

                Slavery


                The institution of slavery was the single biggest drivers of Economy for around 3,000 years. Civilization- all the great wonders and monuments you see- were built by slaves. It is similar to the Banking sector today. If you bring down the banking sector, the entire economies of the world will immediately collapse. The same was the case for slavery until ofcourse machines came along. Let's make this clear, No slaves=No economy. Hence, what Islam could do was to improve conditions for the slaves as shown by hadiths and meanwhile gradually make slavery redundant, which is a more practical solution.

                Now ofcourse, you could say why did Islam adhere to such worldly needs. The fact is unlike what liberal muslims or the other extremists like ISIS claims - Islam is a very pragmatic and practical religion, it has to deal with the realities of the world not pander to fantasies and Disney Land ideologies.

                Slavery itself exists as a result of Wars, if you defeat another people, you will capture their soldiers and civilian populace. For the people of the Book, they are just put under taxation. It was the idolators who were given the chance to accept Islam or accept slavery.

                Annemarie Schimmel, Islam: An Introduction

                Slavery was not abolished by the Koran, but believers are constantly admonished to treat their slaves well. In case of illness a slave has to be looked after and well cared for. To manumit [free] a slave is highly meritorious; the slave can ransom himself by paying some of the money he has earned while conducting his own business. Only children of slaves or non-Muslim prisoners of war can become slaves, never a freeborn Muslim; therefore slavery is theoretically doomed to disappear with the expansion of Islam. The entire history of Islam proves that slaves could occupy any office, and many former military slaves, usually recruited from among the Central Asian Turks, became military leaders and often even rulers as in eastern Iran, India (the Slave Dynasty of Delhi), and medieval Egypt (the Mamluks). Eunuchs too served in important capacities, not only as the guardians of the women’s quarters, but also in high administrative and military positions. — p. 67

                Roger Du Pasquier, Unveiling Islam


                To answer this question, it should first be remarked that Islam has tolerated slavery but has never approved of it, and that all its teachings and prescriptions in this regard lead to its alleviation as far as possible in the short term, and, in the longer term, conduce to its progressive suppression. To abolish it would have been impossible in a world in which it was generally practiced by all the states which bordered on the new Muslim empire, and in which the idea of challenging the principle itself had not occurred to anyone. It was the custom to enslave prisoners of war — when these were not simply massacred — and the Islamic state would have put itself at a grave disadvantage vis-a-vis its enemies had it not reciprocated to some extent. By guaranteeing them humane treatment, and various possibilities of subsequently releasing themselves, it ensured that a good number of combatants in the opposing armies preferred captivity at the hands of Muslims to death on the field of battle.
                Last edited by Spicen; 24-04-17, 05:19 PM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Concerns about some aspects of Islam

                  Originally posted by AishaGirl View Post
                  So how do I fix it? What can I do?
                  Let me give you an advice. You can either accept that the world is much more complex than your Westernized world view which is a load of fantasy. There are harsh realities in this world that you won't be able to comprehend without coming to realism and leaving western fantasies.

                  Europeans have been lecturing muslims on humanism and yet they treat refugees worse than they treat their animals because of religion.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by AishaGirl View Post
                    Originally posted by Stoic Believer View Post
                    Why are you subjecting Allah and Islam to a western morality system? This is your fatal flaw. Allah is the source of right and wrong, you do not judge what He does based on a morality system of man.

                    You have not submitted to Allah truly. That or you do not truly believe in the Quran and the Rasul(:saw:)

                    If you believe the Quran to be revelation from Allah then that is it. You submit to Allah and accept that He knows better than you and that He does as He pleases.

                    I'm not choosing to believe this... I just can't help what I believe.


                    Originally posted by Dinobot View Post
                    But in your case you have an issue with accepting Allah's commandments. That's not an iman problem. that's an aqeedah problem. that's much worse. Because it's the path one takes before one becomes a fasiq and then inevitably to leaving religion all together.
                    So how do I fix it? What can I do?
                    I think you have been indoctrinated by Western values and principles of morality. Otherwise none of these issues would exist.

                    Also you have a problem with your Tawheed. If you accept Allah as your Rabb, then you'd have no issue accepting that He is the Most Wise, and that what He decrees is the best.

                    Finally, you may also be a victim of waswasa from the shaytann.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Concerns about some aspects of Islam

                      [MENTION=38207]Jenicca[/MENTION] , [MENTION=87885]Meriadoc[/MENTION] , [MENTION=39142]Fakhri[/MENTION] [MENTION=123920]-qed-[/MENTION][MENTION=40692]ZeeshanParvez[/MENTION]
                      Perhaps you brothers and sisters have insight ?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Concerns about some aspects of Islam

                        I'm not too sure how to answer the OP.. I'll think about it and come back to that sister.. I know you posted before, and took a break and now your back again
                        This is a side note about TSR.. I used to be part of that and just post on there, mainly the exams section but also about Islam too.. not everyone on TSR is bad.. I do have to admit a lot of people had a bad mentality towards Islam and Muslims.. but by no means, everyone. And it has many purposes i.e threads r.e university. exams etc.
                        And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record”
                        [al-An’aam 6:59]

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Concerns about some aspects of Islam

                          Originally posted by Creamcake View Post
                          I'm not too sure how to answer the OP.. I'll think about it and come back to that sister.. I know you posted before, and took a break and now your back again
                          This is a side note about TSR.. I used to be part of that and just post on there, mainly the exams section but also about Islam too.. not everyone on TSR is bad.. I do have to admit a lot of people had a bad mentality towards Islam and Muslims.. but by no means, everyone. And it has many purposes i.e threads r.e university. exams etc.
                          Edit: candyapple just made a tsr thread
                          It all starts with a thought

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Concerns about some aspects of Islam

                            Originally posted by Spicen View Post
                            Well I don't know what you post in TSR but I was there for a few months and the amount of apostasy threads there.......well they've their marks and it might affect my answer.

                            And most importantly, Islam is not a liberal religion. This is a fact. If you're influenced by western values and morals, you're kind of bound to have a problem with Islam and move towards disbelief. I'm sorry to say this but that's the truth.

                            So I'm going to try and answer your question one-by-one.

                            Slavery


                            The institution of slavery was the single biggest drivers of Economy for around 3,000 years. Civilization- all the great wonders and monuments you see- were built by slaves. It is similar to the Banking sector today. If you bring down the banking sector, the entire economies of the world will immediately collapse. The same was the case for slavery until ofcourse machines came along. Let's make this clear, No slaves=No economy. Hence, what Islam could do was to improve conditions for the slaves as shown by hadiths and meanwhile gradually make slavery redundant, which is a more practical solution.

                            Now ofcourse, you could say why did Islam adhere to such worldly needs. The fact is unlike what liberal muslims or the other extremists like ISIS claims - Islam is a very pragmatic and practical religion, it has to deal with the realities of the world not pander to fantasies and Disney Land ideologies.

                            Slavery itself exists as a result of Wars, if you defeat another people, you will capture their soldiers and civilian populace. For the people of the Book, they are just put under taxation. It was the idolators who were given the chance to accept Islam or accept slavery.

                            Annemarie Schimmel, Islam: An Introduction

                            Slavery was not abolished by the Koran, but believers are constantly admonished to treat their slaves well. In case of illness a slave has to be looked after and well cared for. To manumit [free] a slave is highly meritorious; the slave can ransom himself by paying some of the money he has earned while conducting his own business. Only children of slaves or non-Muslim prisoners of war can become slaves, never a freeborn Muslim; therefore slavery is theoretically doomed to disappear with the expansion of Islam. The entire history of Islam proves that slaves could occupy any office, and many former military slaves, usually recruited from among the Central Asian Turks, became military leaders and often even rulers as in eastern Iran, India (the Slave Dynasty of Delhi), and medieval Egypt (the Mamluks). Eunuchs too served in important capacities, not only as the guardians of the women’s quarters, but also in high administrative and military positions. — p. 67

                            Roger Du Pasquier, Unveiling Islam


                            To answer this question, it should first be remarked that Islam has tolerated slavery but has never approved of it, and that all its teachings and prescriptions in this regard lead to its alleviation as far as possible in the short term, and, in the longer term, conduce to its progressive suppression. To abolish it would have been impossible in a world in which it was generally practiced by all the states which bordered on the new Muslim empire, and in which the idea of challenging the principle itself had not occurred to anyone. It was the custom to enslave prisoners of war — when these were not simply massacred — and the Islamic state would have put itself at a grave disadvantage vis-a-vis its enemies had it not reciprocated to some extent. By guaranteeing them humane treatment, and various possibilities of subsequently releasing themselves, it ensured that a good number of combatants in the opposing armies preferred captivity at the hands of Muslims to death on the field of battle.
                            BarakAllahu feeki. I appreciate you taking the time to explain this. What you said here makes sense and I did not think of this aspect.

                            The entire economy was built on slavery at that time and to simply remove it instantly would send the world in free fall.

                            But what about the purchase of slaves for intercourse? How is this ok? You purchase another human being to have intercourse with and the slave has so say in the matter, or many of these Muslims had wives and still got a slave to have intercourse with. What if the women objected to sexual intercourse with her master?
                            I beg my parents for money

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Concerns about some aspects of Islam

                              Slavery (Part 2)

                              [MENTION=141791]AishaGirl[/MENTION]

                              Now another aspect of slavery not mentioned is Warrior slaves and Slave ruler dynasties. Only in Islamic history will you see slaves (a certain type ofcourse) have similar social status to a nobleman- I'm not joking, free men gave themselves to slavery just to become a Mamluk. The Mamluks were great slave warriors who fought for Islam. The most famous mamluk was Baibars who defeated Mongols at the legendary Battle of Ain Jalut. He later became Sultan of Egypt. There was another slave dynasty that ruled a sultanate in India.

                              Let's take a look at some of Islam's stance on slavery:

                              Whosoever kills his slave: he shall be killed. Whosoever imprisons his slave and starves him, he shall be imprisoned and starved himself, and whosoever castrates his slave shall himself be castrated. (Abu Dawud, Diyat, 70; Tirmidhi, Diyat, 17; Al-Nasa’i, Qasama, 10, 16)

                              You are sons of Adam and Adam was created from clay. (Tirmidhi, Tafsir, 49; Manaqib, 73; Abu Dawud, Adab, 111)

                              You should know that no Arab is superior over a non-Arab and, no non-Arab is superior over any Arab, no white is superior over black and no black is superior over white. Superiority is by righteousness and God-fearing [alone]. (Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 411)

                              Because of this compassionate attitude, those who had lived their whole lives as slaves and who are described in ahadith as poor and lowly received respect from those who enjoyed high social status (Muslim, Birr, 138; Jannat, 48; Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 54, 65). ‘Umar was expressing his respect in this sense when he said: ‘Master Bilal whom Master Abu Bakr set free’ (Bukhari, Fada’il al-Sahaba, 23). Islam (unlike other civilizations) requires that slaves are thought of and treated as within the framework of universal human brotherhood, and not as outside it. The Prophet, upon him be peace, said:

                              Your servants and your slaves are your brothers. Anyone who has slaves should give them from what he eats and wears. He should not charge them with work beyond their capabilities. If you must set them to hard work, in any case I advise you to help them. (Bukhari, Iman, 22; Adab, 44; Muslim, Iman, 38–40; Abu Dawud, Adab, 124)

                              Not one of you should [when introducing someone] say ‘This is my slave’, ‘This is my concubine’. He should call them ‘my daughter’ or ‘my son’ or ‘my brother’. (Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 2, 4)

                              For this reason ‘Umar and his servant took it in turns to ride on the camel from Madina to Jerusalem on their journey to take control of Masjid al-Aqsa. While he was the head of the state, ‘Uthman had his servant pull his own ears in front of the people since he had pulled his. Abu Dharr, applying the hadith literally, made his servant wear one half of his suit while he himself wore the other half. From these instances, it was being demonstrated to succeeding generations of Muslims, and a pattern of conduct established, that a slave is fully a human being, not different from other people in his need for respect and dignity and justice.

                              Whosoever kills his slave, he shall be killed, whosoever imprisons his slave and starves him, he shall be imprisoned and starved himself. (Tirmidhi, al-Ayman wa l-Nudhur, 13)

                              Comment

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